Stunts are entirely optional.
They are are special abilities and knacks that make a character unique. While Skills identify broadish areas of expertise, Stunts let you personalise the things your character can do. They have something in common with Aspects in that you define them yourself rather than pick from a pre-defined list, but unlike Aspects, you define exactly what a Stunt does in game mechanic terms. And unlike Aspects, which are double-edged, Stunts always give a bonus of some kind.
Some elements of a character concept might equally well be defined either as a Stunt or as an Aspect; in fact, if that element is important enough, there’s nothing to stop you from defining it as both – that will make it all the more powerful.
Stunts typically do one of the following:
- Gain a +2 bonus to a non-attack skill for specific usages or circumstances. This is useful for an expert in a specialist subject. Alternatively the usages or circumstances could be a little broader, but for a bonus of +1
- Gain a +1 bonus to an attack skill in specific circumstances.
- Gain the ability to free-tag a consequence following a successful attack with a specific skill.
- Negate a -2 penalty for any skill, including an attack skill.
- Roll against the skill in place of different skill in specific circumstances. Your effective skill level cannot be better than three levels higher that whatever level the substituted skill would have been.
- Gain the benefits (other than skill rolls) of another skill. Your effective skill level cannot be better than three levels higher that whatever level the substituted skill would have been.
- Gain a more powerful effect, at the cost of a Fate Point.
- Gain a minor supernatural ability (More detail in the next section, about Psionics)
- Own an item or artefact that would not normally be available to a player character.
- Combine any two of the above at half-value
Just like Aspects, you should always try to give your Stunts an evocative name, preferably something you can name in-character to make it clear to the GM and to other players when you’re using it.
Can Kill a Man With One Blow of the Tongue
You can be plain nasty in social circumstances. The combination of words and tone of voice mean your barbs and insults hit your opponent where it hurts. Whenever you win a round in a social conflict in which you action was to make an attack, you can free-tag the resulting consequence in the next round.
You have amassed significant personal wealth over and above what is typical for someone of your social standing. Your Rank is considered two levels higher for the purposes of obtaining gear and equipment.
Scholar of the History of Ancient Filgeth
You have devoted considerable time to studying the history of ancient history, especially in Filgeth in the days of the First Empire. Your Kandar Education skill is at +1 to answer any question about ancient history in general, or +2 to know something about the ancient history of the city of Filgeth.
I Can Also Use One Of These
You’ve been trained in more than one weapon. Reduce the penalty for using any one weapon/fighting style other than your primary one by 2. This may have the effect of reducing the penalties for using other weapons/styles which are more similar to your secondary weapon than your primary one.
Your skill in one artistic or craft skill is well-known, and has earned you a lot of contacts. You can use this skill to replace Rank in a skill roll.